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Podcast explores science fiction and the human future

“Imagining the Future,” a new episode of the “What Makes Us Human” podcast series, explores how science fiction can help make sense of climate change. This second season of the podcast examines the question, “Where is the human in climate change?” and showcases the newest thinking across academic disciplines about the relationship between humans and the environment.

“The bad news is that a significant amount of contemporary science fiction and actual futuristic projects you might have read, watched or heard about are basically technologically up-cycled frontier fantasies from centuries past,” Anindita Banerjee, associate professor of comparative literature, says in the podcast. “The good news is that science fiction has always contained the seeds for a different kind of storytelling for the future of the environment.”

Banerjee, a faculty fellow with the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, focuses on science fiction and technocultural studies, environmental humanities, media studies and migration studies across post-socialist and post-colonial spaces in her research. She is the author of “We Modern People: Science Fiction and the Making of Russian Modernity,” which won the Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies book prize from the University of California.

The “What Makes Us Human” podcast series is produced by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Cornell Broadcast Studios and features audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty. New episodes are released each Tuesday through the spring and are available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming on the humanities page, where text versions of the essays are also posted.

- Linda B. Glaser

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson